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“I Hate My Ex But I Want Them Back”

Breakups come with a lot of conflicting emotions.

You love your ex more than life itself and at the same time you wish they would just disappear forever.

You hate them, you want them.

They’re disgusting and you wish they’d never leave your side.

Unfortunately this is as normal as it is frustrating. I’ll take you through why you’re feeling how you’re feeling, how you can hold onto two conflicting emotions simultaneously and how it’s going to affect things if you really want your ex back.

So, how can you want your ex back if you hate them? Well the answer is that contradictions are a part of life. Life is messy, and love is even more messy.

The truth is you can hate someone while still loving them. I always say that love and hate are two sides of the same coin. Love and hate aren’t opposites.

Indifference is the opposite of love. And love and hate aren’t mutually exclusive.

I’m sure you’ve had times where you’ve hated members of your family but you never stopped loving them either. The important thing here is that this hate is temporary and real love lasts forever, so to some extent it’s just a waiting game.

But we can shorten up that time with a little reflection. To understand how this works, let’s first talk about why you hate your ex.

Why you hate your ex

So what does it mean to hate your ex? You have persistent negative feelings towards them. The thought of them makes you angry and upset. These feelings are derived from a sense of injury. You may even feel repulsed by them.

Chances are a part of this feeling comes from the idea that you loved someone you now dislike. It makes you ask questions about who you are and what you were thinking.

These are tough feelings and can be confusing and exhausting.

RELATED: They’re Your Ex For A Reason and Other Breakup Myths

Where does all this hate come from?

Well there are a few reasons that you probably hate your ex after the relationship is over. Chances are it’s a combination of things or maybe it was triggered by one traumatic event. Let’s go down the list…

1. They cheated on you

If your ex cheated on you then it’s pretty clear why you hate them. They broke your trust. They lied to you and they made you feel like an idiot. This is a tough one to come back from and many people find that they can no longer trust their ex and are unable to make things work or even to forgive them.

2. Your resentment is now unresolved

Every relationship brings with it some resentment…sometimes a lot of resentment. If you were constantly upset with your ex and waiting for the day when they’d see the error of their ways and start treating you properly…. and then they suddenly dump you, you’re going to be left with some seriously hurt feelings.

It’s easy to forgive and love your ex when you think that resolution could be just around the corner, but now that they’ve ended things, all that resentment can come rushing at you like a bullet train and it can make you REALLY hate your ex.

3. They broke your heart

Cheating isn’t the only kind of betrayal in a relationship. If your ex broke up with you then chances are they broke your heart. Even if it’s just that you thought you had something special and they didn’t feel the same way. This is worse when they gave no indication that the relationship was in trouble and then blindsided you with “we need to talk.”

Any relationship means vulnerability, and the more vulnerable you were the more damage the other person does by rejecting you.

4. They ran away

Oftentimes we’re most angry at someone not for hurting us but for running away when things get tough. If you ran into a problem that could have been worked out, and they chose to simply dip out instead of making an effort to resolve it, that can inspire a lot of hate. It’s really that feeling of “come on, why can’t we just figure this out?”

This can have you feeling like they didn’t value you, or it can show you that they’re such a coward that they were afraid to talk about it.

5. They destroyed the potential your relationship had

It’s easy to get caught up in the potential a relationship had rather than what it actually was. When a breakup happens, then the potential disappears, and we’re just left with the ugly truth. It’s then that you can realize that this person wasn’t who you thought they were and that can lead to some seriously negative feelings.

6. You’re embarrassed that they dumped you

Being dumped is sad, of course, but it can also be humiliating. We tie a lot of our self worth into romantic success. It can be easy to think that winning someone’s love makes us valuable, and therefore losing it makes us worthless.

RELATED: Can No Contact Push Your Ex Further Away?

And the embarrassment is worse the bigger and more public your relationship is. You may be thinking that people are laughing at you now that you got dumped.

The truth is that being in a relationship, no matter how perfect it seems, does not make you any more valuable than you were when you were single. And no one is making fun of you. In fact, many people are probably excited that you’re back on the market because now they might have their chance…

7. You’re processing your sadness as anger

Sadness and depression can be difficult to process in many people. Anger is a lot more straightforward because it’s an emotion that creates action. It can lead to yelling at your ex, venting to your friends… it can even turn against you and have you judging your every word and action. None of these are great coping mechanisms, so do your best to seek out what you’re REALLY feeling and deal with that instead.

Why Do You Still Want Them Back?

So if you hate your ex, how come you’d still jump at the chance to have them back?

Well as I spoke about earlier, there’s room in the human heart for contradictions, especially when it comes to love. In fact, often the more you want your ex back, the more you hate them right now. That’s because your hate is directly proportional to how much you love them. If you never liked them very much, then you wouldn’t hold a grudge. It’s that loss of something good that drives your anger towards your ex.

And the truth is that you can still win your ex back while feeling these feelings. You just need to make sure that you keep a lid on them and not bring them up to your ex, at least at this stage.

For now, you should take some time apart from your ex to process the breakup and these feelings you have. I know that if you can spend at least 30 days after the breakup without talking to your ex, then your mindset is going to improve and your harsh feelings will start to fade away. And the truth is, so will any negative feelings they have towards you.

Now, this isn’t a magic bullet. You have to spend this time improving yourself and getting your mind off your ex.

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But what if you wait those 30 days, and the anger is just as strong? Or what if it’s been even longer than that?

Well unfortunately, at some point you have to choose to let go of that anger and that hatred if you want your ex back. I know it’s valid and I’m sure they may deserve it, but you can’t rebuild a relationship with someone while you still hate their guts. Eventually you’ll have to work to process these feelings and leave them behind you. For now, simply do your best to put it aside and focus on the task at hand.

If you find that you can’t look at your ex without seeing red, and you can no longer feel love for them, then you’ll know that this isn’t going to be worth it for you. In that case, the reason you want your ex back isn’t because you actually want to be with them, but because you feel slighted and want to find closure.